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The member organisations of Real Estate Balance are based all across Britain and the past few years has seen us steadily increasing our programme of activities outside of London.
We are therefore delighted to invite our members, as well as our Network of Networks members, to this upcoming event in Birmingham – one of Britain’s first ‘super-diverse’ cities with more than half of the population being ethnic minorities and more than 100 languages spoken in a city of well over a million people.
As well as its diverse population, the ‘second city’ is youthful, with more than 40% of people aged under 25, and its five universities provide a deep pool of talent and innovation fuelling its fledgling technology and life sciences sectors. A recent report highlighted Birmingham’s highly educated talent, young demographic and predicted population increase as key drivers in real estate growth over the next decade.
Birmingham benefits from being in the heart of the UK with excellent transport links to all parts of the country and the prospect of HS2 further slashing travel times to London, in addition to the development this is generating. Despite impressive economic growth in recent years, it remains much more affordable than London. ‘Forward’, the city’s motto, encapsulates the spirit of regeneration and the continual evolution of the region.
And yet, in the wider West Midlands, almost a quarter of the population, and a staggering 40% of children, are living in poverty, the third highest of the regions of the UK, which becomes even more acute in certain ethnic groups.
The real estate sector, an important part of the economy in the Midlands, has not always been representative of the communities it serves. However, our members in Birmingham know the business benefits of a diverse workforce and are striving to develop inclusive cultures where everyone can be their authentic selves regardless of their gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background.
And there are notable successes and best practices to be shared. Long-term commitment to educational partnerships, meaningful stakeholder and community engagement, progressive and de-biased hiring practices, valuing diversity data, role models, providing networking opportunities and mentoring of diverse talent among them.
These tactics are all being utilised by organisations in Birmingham, and our panel of property professionals from the city will share with attendees how they are trying to create pathways into real estate roles and structures for career development for those currently underrepresented.
They will also discuss how the real estate industry is evolving, what more can be done to make workplaces more inclusive and how the predicted growth in the “Midlands Engine” can provide real opportunities for Birmingham’s super-diverse population, with the potential for the real estate industry to reap the proven business benefits of a diverse talent pool.
Attendees will also get the chance to ask questions of the panel and network with likeminded peers.